New Spreadsheet Calculates Greenhouse Gas Reduction Credits

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2049. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 1 February 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Farm-Scape, Episode 2049

A new tool being developed for use by the Canadian swine industry will allow hog producers to quickly and easily calculate the number of greenhouse gas offset credits their farms will qualify for as the result of changing agricultural practices.

Under the direction of the National Offsets Quantification Team, a pork industry working group, has developed a draft protocol designed to calculate the amount of greenhouse gas offsets being generated from hog farms in Canada.

Information on such factors as the number of pigs bought or sold, their weights and how much feed was used is entered into a spreadsheet which translates the data into greenhouse gas emissions and reductions.

Although the calculations used in the package are still being finalized, a working prototype was demonstrated last month at the Banff Pork Seminar.

Dr. Rob Janzen, with Agrologics Consulting, explains methods used by farmers have associated with them research that relates the activities to decreases in greenhouse gas emissions.

"The protocol is for swine farms, so the protocol focuses on how those pigs are fed and how efficiently they grow and then how the manure from those pigs is managed. We plug in the practice and then the reductions increase or decrease depending on the practice that we've introduced into the spreadsheet.

The purpose of the protocol then is that the farmer doesn't have to make a case for the amount of offsets that the activities will create. It's understood that, if the farmer follows certain practices, a specific number of credits will accrue. Dr. Janzen says, because this is the first such protocol in the agriculture sector, it's difficult to estimate when the package will be circulated to the public.

However, he says, the spreadsheet is being used and it's already possible to give farmers a pretty good idea of how many offsets their farm would generate.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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